Adult wolves (Canis lupus) were immobilized with 6.6 mg/kg ketamine hydrochloride (KET) and 2.2 mg/kg xylazine hydrochloride (XYL) administered intramuscularly. Induction time was 4.6 +/- 0.3 min (mean +/- SE). Immobilization resulted in significant bradycardia and hypertension (P less than 0.05). Twenty min after induction, the wolves were given 0.05-0.60 mg/kg yohimbine hydrochloride (YOH). Yohimbine given intravenously produced dose-related increases in heart rate (HR) with doses greater than 0.15 mg/kg resulting in extreme tachycardia (greater than 300 bpm). All doses of YOH caused a temporary decrease in mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) with some individual animals manifesting profound hypotension (less than 30 torr) at doses greater than 0.15 mg/kg. Increasing the dose of YOH above 0.15 mg/kg did not significantly decrease either arousal or ambulation times. Administering YOH at 40 or 60 min after induction resulted in decreased arousal and ambulation times. Stimulation by weighing and taking repeated blood samples during anesthesia did not shorten arousal times. We recommend that wolves immobilized with XYL-KET be antagonized with doses of YOH less than 0.15 mg/kg.
Additional publication details
Cardiovascular and behavioral responses of gray wolves to ketamine-xylazine immobilization and antagonism by yohimbine